Singapore Airline, SIA, which was awarded the title of the best airline service in the world in 2018, has announced the launch of its very own blockchain based digital wallet program for its loyal customers. This is world’s first airline loyalty program incorporating blockchain technology at its core.
The entire pipeline for this service is named as KrisPay, a digital wallet that is used to store digital units. The miles traveled by the customers using the airline service are converted into digital units for trading with the partner merchants spanning on different categories and this entire framework of KrisPay is based upon the ever-expanding blockchain technology.
In the same announcement, the CEO of Singapore Airlines, Mr. Goh Choon Phong, stated:
We are excited to be introducing KrisPay, a novel way for our KrisFlyer members to digitally access their miles at their fingertips, at any time. By creating a miles-based digital wallet which integrates the use of miles into their daily lives, KrisFlyer members have yet another way to use miles instantly on everyday transactions.
KrisFlyer has launched a mobile app for its customers, KrisPay, which is currently available for download on both android and iOS. This app can be downloaded and the features of KrisPay digital wallet program can easily be enabled by the KrisFlyer’s customers. When customers travel with the airline, their travel miles are converted into digital units, which they can then use at 18 different partner merchants, falling under different categories such as beauty services, food and beverage, petrol and retail. More features are expected to be added in the coming months and more in-app promotions can be expected by the customers.
As of now, once the customers get their digital units based on the loyalty program, they can go to different merchants, scan the QR code for KrisPay payment using the mobile application provided by KrisFlyer and get their payments done in full or partial. As of yet, the minimum threshold for payments at the micro-level is maintained at 15 KrisPay miles, which roughly translates to an equivalent amount of S$0.10.
During the launch period, special discounts will be offered by the merchants for the users of KrisPay and as more and more merchants are taken on board with this system, the ease of digital unit use by the customers will change the dynamics of this program quite dramatically. This is a ‘one of a kind’ service, based on the future shaping blockchain technology that this airline is providing to its customers.
The program was announced back in February and has officially taken off on a large scale now. In the previous unveiling of the project, CEO of Singapore Airlines, Mr. Goh Choon Phong, stated:
Innovation has been a key contributor to the success of Singapore Airlines since Day 1 and we are very excited about this world-first initiative, which will bring even more benefits to members of our KrisFlyer programme.
In the recent past, when it comes to the aviation industry, we have seen blockchain technology take a very strong hold in different departments of the industry. Besides this, Brisbane Airport, in partnership with TravelbyBit has enabled the use of digital currency for payments inside the airport terminal, making it the world’s first ever digital currency airport terminal. With the help of this program, customers will be able to enjoy the services provided at both terminals of the organization through the use of cyrptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, dash, ethereum etc., as payment options.
Roel Hellemons, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) general manager for strategic planning and development, stated:
Many people around the world have made money investing in cryptocurrencies and a lot of these people travel internationally, so it makes sense to offer a digital currency experience within our terminals. We’re also proud to be the first airport in the world to achieve this in partnership with a small local start-up business such as TravelbyBit, whose pioneering thinking is drawing attention to Brisbane as a serious breeding ground of innovative thinking. This is just the beginning for us as we hope to expand the digital currency option across the business, so watch this space.
Previously, regarding the same industry, we have also seen Lufthansa, one of the world’s leading airline is partnering up with SAP to incorporate blockchain technology in the aviation arena. Regarding the incorporation of blockchain foundation in the field of aviation, one of the most prominent board members of Lufthansa group, Thorsten Dirks, stated:
By combining our aviation industry expertise with the blockchain technology of a world market leader, we are creating the ideal worldwide framework for addressing blockchain entrepreneurs with an affinity for travel and mobility.
Gleb Tritus, the managing director of Lufthansa Innovation Hub, said:
While many industries have found their first-use cases, the impact on the aviation sector is not noticeable yet. We want to change that together with SAP and see substantial potential in our industry to utilize blockchain and other plays of decentralized networks.
The interest shown by the aviation industry in the usage of blockchain technology in order to streamline operations and services provided by the industry has seen to be rising quite a lot in the recent past. From flight reservation, handling supply chain operations, option to buy items from in-terminal shops using digital currency to converting your travel miles into digital spendable units of currency, blockchain technology is surely revamping and reshaping how the aviation industry works.
As we step into the future the usage of blockchain foundation in different sectors of the aviation industry as well as other more prominent industries is expected to increase dramatically. These initiatives present just a hint of what is about to come through the usage of blockchain frameworks in the near future.